Climbing the Western health care mountain: Asian migrants' challenges in rural areas of Tasmania
Terry, DR and Ali, M and Le, Q, Climbing the Western health care mountain: Asian migrants' challenges in rural areas of Tasmania, The 5th International Asian and Ethnic Minority Health and Wellbeing Conference, 27-28 June 2012, Auckland New Zealand, pp. 1-272. ISBN 978-0-473-21394-7 (2012) [Conference Extract]
Background, Aims & Objectives:
Asian migrants living in rural areas of Tasmania, experience a social and cultural environment dissimilar to larger Australian cities which have more dense communities of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people. The lived experience of Asian migrants’ health care-seeking behaviour in Tasmania was explored to understand their acculturation process which enables them to comprehend, access and use the health system.
This qualitative exploratory study was underpinned by phenomenology which views the world of lived experience as a fundamental source of knowledge. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 36 Asian migrants residing in North, South and North West Tasmania, who were recruited through purposive sampling.
Six main themes emerged from the interviews: the health system acculturation process, interactions with the health care system, access issues, culturally appropriate health care, positive health care in Tasmania, and suggestions for improving health care.
The findings indicate sub-populations such as Asian migrants residing in sparse CALD communities have views which can adversely affect their health care-seeking behaviours. This is due to a lack of information, poor communication, inadequate access and limited choices in rural areas. However Asian migrants who are married to locals had the shortest trajectory to health system acculturation. The study recommends developing health and well-being for Asian migrants by increasing access to information concerning health system navigation and improving access to and awareness of language services. In addition, ensuring the availability of adequate, appropriately written, culturally specific and congruent information is essential to aid migrants’ transition into a new health care system. Lastly, greater cultural awareness within the health profession is required to meet the health needs of individuals and communities from CALD backgrounds.
access, acculturation, behaviour, Asian migrant, rural health